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Little-Fizz 01-01-2008 09:10 PM

Hmm over stocked?
Ok, so am I over stocked? Someone said I was.. I didn't think so though? In a 28 gallon I've got 5 serpae tetras, 5 cory cats, and 4 swordtails. Plus three shrimp and a snail. I didn't think this was too much... Or am I just pushing it? I realize the swords getting kinda big... But big enough to mean I have to many fish? :(

GThiele113 01-01-2008 09:17 PM

I wouldnt think so.

Little-Fizz 01-01-2008 09:21 PM

See.. Thats what I was thinking? I'm kind of confused. But whatever. I was so mad when I heard my tank was too small? I want a pair of blue rams SOO bad. Do you know if I add like 1 or 2 more tetras if they will leave my swords alone and only bother themselves? Thanks for the reply.

Lupin 01-02-2008 07:21 AM

Serpaes are notoriously nippy and I'd never mix them with anything sporting long fins and moving sluggishly.

GThiele113 01-02-2008 09:57 AM

Eh, if your swords school or group, I'm sure they would feel safety in number. Go for it and add a few. 8)

Little-Fizz 01-02-2008 10:49 AM


Originally Posted by Lupin
Serpaes are notoriously nippy and I'd never mix them with anything sporting long fins and moving sluggishly.

So are serpaes and swords a bad mix? I figured my swords would be beating the crap out of them lol. They are like double their size.

GThiele113 01-02-2008 02:13 PM

Honestly iv'e never kept either

crazy4fish 01-02-2008 02:53 PM

i have kept both but not at the same time. my tetras werent really that nippy. theu werent nippy at all actually. if your swords are getting beat up i would just give it a shot and add a few more tetras. trust me you arent over stocked, you have enough room for tetras. i love rams too but would be careful if the tetras dont stop nipping.

Falina 01-02-2008 08:51 PM

I don't think you are overstocked, adding another 2 tetras might help the swords a bit. I wouldn't push it and add the rams however, but I am always very conservative when it comes to stocking.

tophat665 01-02-2008 09:35 PM

Re: Hmm over stocked?

Originally Posted by Little-Fizz
In a 28 gallon I've got 5 serpae tetras, 5 cory cats, and 4 swordtails. Plus three shrimp and a snail.

Allrightythen. Let's break this down. 28 gallons = 28 inch equivalents, or up to 56 if heavily planted (very heavily - if you get asked how your plants grow so well or why your tanks looks like a jungle, then you're heavily planted, otherwise, 28 it remains) and established for more than 6 months. Adjust downward by 20% if that's one of the 28 gallon high tanks that has the same footprint as a 20 high, so somewhere between 22 and 56 inch equivalents of bioload. Overfiltering and frequent water changes can stretch that a little.

Serpaes are 1.5 inch = 1 inch equivalent (tetras are generally low bioload, but serpaes are active and nippy and need some extra space), so 5" equivalent.

Cories are 1 to 1, and can (for females of the more common species) get up to 3". Call it 2.5" on average = 12.5" equivalent of Cories

Swordtails get up to 4", slightly more for females. They are mildly aggressive, so they need extra space. Bioload increases exponemtially with length, so I would say 1" of swordtail = 2" equivalents (that's generous), meaning you have up to 32" equivalents of fish there at full growth. And they will breed if you have a male in there (or kill each other if you have more than 1 male in there).

Now, if your tank is heavily planted, then some fry will survive, and if you're not overstocked already, you will be. If you're not heavily planted, then the fry are less likely to survive, and you'll be overstocked as the swords get over about 2 1/2".

This isn't even counting shrimp and snails which can have a widely variable impact (think cherry red at 1" vs african vampire shrimp at 8", or pond snails which will breed vs nerites which probably won't vs apple snails which are a good 10 times larger in all dimensions.)

So I'd say make sure you have filtration for up to 80 gallons or so, get some plants in there if you don't already, keep your snail population down, and don't add anything else.

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